A person above the age of 18 years is free to choose a religion of his or her choice, the Supreme Court observed on Friday refusing to entertain a public interest litigation seeking directions to ban black magic, superstition and deceitful religious conversion.
A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman led bench observed that the plea was in the nature of a publicity interest litigation and that there was “no reason why a person above 18 cannot choose his or her religion.”
“There is a reason why the word propagate is there in Indian Constitution,” said Justice Nariman referring to Article 25.
BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, the petitioner in the case, then proceeded to withdraw the plea.
He will now approach law Ministry and Law Commission for enactment of laws to redress his grievances.
Upadhyay, in his plea, had also sought directions to ascertain the feasibility of appointing a Committee to enact a Conversion of Religion Act to check the abuse of religion.
Religious conversion by ‘carrot and stick’ and by ‘hook or crook’ not only offends Articles 14, 21, 25, but is also against the principles of secularism, which is integral part of basic structure of Constitution, he contended.
The Central and State government have failed to control the menace of black magic, superstition and deceitful religious conversion, though it’s their duty under Article 51A, the plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey said.